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US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement Progresses Through House

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

27 September 2007

US Trade Representative Susan Schwab has welcomed the House Ways and Means Committee's approval of a draft US-Peru free trade agreement (FTA), which implements language incorporating new labor standards and environmental protection measures.

“I am very pleased the Ways and Means Committee approved draft legislation to implement the Peru Trade Promotion Agreement. This voice vote shows that the May 10 bipartisan agreement, which addressed congressional concerns by incorporating new labor and environment provisions in the four pending free trade agreements created a path that is leading to positive results,” said Schwab.

She continued: “Just like last week's overwhelming (Senate) Finance Committee vote, this is another indication that the Bush Administration and Congress can find a way to do the right thing for the American people, the US economy, and our key allies in the region.”

The US-Peru FTA is the first trade agreement that incorporates the environmental and labor requirements, resulting from the landmark bipartisan trade deal struck between Congress and the administration in May.

Commenting on the new agreement, Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Sander Levin (D - MI) said that the Peru FTA signals a dramatic step in a new trade policy - "one that takes on the essential need to expand the sharing of the benefits of expanded trade and addressing its downsides – by including for the first time enforceable worker rights and environmental standards."

"We have broken once and for all the failed NAFTA and CAFTA model and are charting a very different course for US trade policy," he added.

"Trade is about people more than it is about goods and services produced; trade is about the policies and commitment of our great nation to make the world a better place," stated Ways and Means Committee member Jim McDermott (D - WA). "With this agreement today we are leading the world by raising the bar to a new level to protect workers and the environment. This is a defining moment and one we can be proud of."

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